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October 08, 2016

Grocery shopping: Five college players to watch who could interest the Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft

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093016DalvinCook Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Florida State RB Dalvin Cook would be an excellent fit in Doug Pederson's offense.

As long as you're taking in some college football action this Saturday afternoon/evening, here are some players who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft.

To note, the Eagles currently have eight draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, listed here.

Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana (6'4, 310): Indiana at (2) Ohio State, 3:30 p.m.

The last two seasons, Indiana has gotten excellent production from their lead running backs:

 Player (Year)Rush Yards YPC TD 
 Tevin Coleman (2014)270 2036 7.5 15 
 Jordan Howard (2015)196 1213 6.2 

The Indiana offensive line has had a lot to do with that, particularly RG Dan Feeney. You can see a good film breakdown of Feeney by Alex Robbins of Crimson Quarry.

Feeney is the consensus best guard prospect in the country. While the Eagles need to continue to bolster their offensive line, their guard spots are less of a concern than the were a year ago, with the addition of Brandon Brooks, the vastly improved play of Allen Barbre, and the selection of Isaac Seumalo in the 2016 NFL Draft. Still, Barbre will be 33 next June and Seumalo could be slated as the center of the future, so the Eagles will at least have to consider what Feeney can do for their run game. 

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (5'11, 206): (23) Florida State at (10) Miami

In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Seminoles lost QB Jameis Winston, RB Karlos Williams, C Cameron Erving, OG Tre' Jackson, OT Bobby Hart, WR Rashad Greene, and TE Nick O'Leary. Cook was the focus of opposing defenses, and he still ran for a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry. His numbers:

 Dalvin CookRushYards YPC TD 
 2014170 1008 5.9 
 2015229 1691 7.4 19 
 TOTAL399 2699 6.8 27 

Cook is a complete back, who has power and speed, as well as the ability to make plays in the passing game out of the backfield.  Perhaps his best strength is his combination of vision and lateral quickness to find (and hit) open holes, which is on display in the highlight reel below:

There aren't any obvious flaws in Cook's game. With his ability to be a weapon in the passing game, Cook would be an excellent fit in Doug Pederson's offense. Of course, the Minnesota Vikings' season would have to fall apart to some degree, because Cook won't be available late in the first round.

Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M (6'3, 190): (9) Tennessee at (8) Texas A&M

Texas A&M has a loaded group of receivers. Sophomore Christian Kirk is thought to be the best eventual prospect of the bunch, Ricky Seals-Jones is a size freak, at 6'5, 240, and Speedy Noil is a Josh Huff type, with a compact frame and YAC skills. However, Reynolds is by far the most productive of the four so far this season:

Texas A&M receivers Rec Yards YPC TD 
 Josh Reynolds20 399 20.0 
 Christian Kirk33 272 8.2 
 Ricky Seals-Jones10 175 17.5 
 Speedy Noil84 14.0 

Reynolds has a vertical element to his game (see his YPC) in addition to ability to use his size to make contested catches, shown here:

Obviously, the Eagles can use more playmakers at wideout. 

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee (6'0, 225): (9) Tennessee at (8) Texas A&M

Reeves-Maybin is undersized at 6'0, 225, which seems to be less of a concern to Jim Schwartz than it was in the Chip Kelly regime. After all, the Eagles recently signed Schwartz favorite Stephen Tulloch, who is 5'11.

Reeves-Maybin's skill set more closely resembles Mychal Kendricks, although his enthusiasm for the game mirrors Tulloch's.

In high school, Reeves-Maybin was a stud running back, and in his recruiting profile, his position was categorized as "athlete." Tennessee initially played him at safety, before moving him linebacker.

In 2015, Reeves-Maybin led the Volunteers with 105 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and was second on the team with 6 sacks. He's a fun player to watch. He is a terrific blitzer, he does an outstanding job of recognizing and blowing up screens, and his play speed on the field is obvious.

Here's a short highlight reel:

Kendricks' role so far this season has been limited to the base defense, and his snaps are way down. Next offseason, the Eagles could explore a trade of Kendricks, as he has clearly fallen out of favor to some degree with Schwartz. Reeves-Maybin could be a far cheaper replacement.

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State (5'8, 180): UNLV at San Diego State, 10:30 p.m.

Pumphrey leads the nation in rushing, with 750 rushing yards. He is a very non-traditional rushing leader, at 5'8, 180 pounds, and he might remind some of Darren Sproles for his ability as a receiver.

This is far from his first productive year, as Pumphrey topped 1650 yards in each of the last two seasons:

 Donnel PumphreyRush Yards YPC TD 
2013125 752 6.0 
 2014276 1867 6.8 20 
 2015309 1653 5.4 17 

In fact, earlier this season, Pumphrey broke Marshall Faulk's career rushing record at San Diego State. Pumphrey also has good receiving numbers over his career:

 Donnel PumphreyRec Yards YPC TD 
201322 234 10.6 
 201423 160 7.0 
 201528 416 14.9 

A highlight reel:

Earlier this offseason, Sproles said that 2017 will likely be his last year in the NFL. While Pumphrey does not return kicks and punts like Sproles, he can be an eventual replacement in the middle rounds for what Sproles does in the regular offense.

Previously profiled players

• September 1

  1. Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt
  2. Mitch Leidner, QB, Minnesota
  3. Jonah Persig, OT, Minnesota
  4. Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State
  5. Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple

• September 3

  1. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
  2. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
  3. Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina
  4. Adoree' Jackson, CB/PR/KR/WR, USC
  5. Zach Banner, OT, USC

• September 10

  1. Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh
  2. Deatrich Wise, Jr., DE, Arkansas
  3. Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
  4. Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee
  5. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

• September 17

  1. Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss
  2. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
  3. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
  4. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
  5. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

• September 24

  1. Desmond King, CB, Iowa
  2. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
  3. Jalen 'Teez' Tabor, CB, Florida
  4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
  5. Johnny Caspers, OG, Stanford

October 1

  1. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
  2. Freddie Stevenson, FB, Florida State
  3. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
  4. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
  5. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

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